July 5, 2020

Netflix’s BSC 1.5, Dawn and the Impossible Three: More Like the Impossible Four

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 2:25 pm by Jenn

They’re friends now! It’s all okay!

Like Stacey, Dawn is eager to make friends in Stoneybrook, but she has another obstacle to overcome: Kristy doesn’t like her. She doesn’t think Dawn has enough experience to be in the BSC, and worse, Kristy doesn’t like that Mary Anne might ditch her for her new friend. I don’t think Kristy gets that Dawn is so concerned with making a good impression. But they both think it’s a win-win when Dawn agrees to sit for the Barretts, the clubs’ least manageable clients. Dawn thinks she’ll prove herself, while Kristy thinks she won’t, giving Kristy the excuse to cut Dawn loose.

The Barrett kids are just as wild as in the book, and Mrs. Barrett (here just called Natalie, because in this version of the BSC, they call their clients by their first names, which is so, so wrong) is just as flaky as in the book. Maybe even flakier. She’s more concerned with getting acting jobs than with making sure her kids are taken care of. Dawn cleans the house to try to be nice, but it just makes Natalie expect her to keep up the good work.

When Buddy disappears, just as he does in the book, Dawn doesn’t know what to do. He’d mentioned wanting to play with David Michael, so she considers calling Kristy, but she knows that could make her look irresponsible. She decides it’s more important to make sure Buddy’s safe, so she calls Kristy, who focuses on finding Buddy instead of criticizing Dawn. Buddy turns up just a couple hours later, having been picked up by his father for a swimming lesson. His dad didn’t even know there was a sitter at the house.

The situation helps Dawn and Kristy connect, but not because of Buddy’s disappearance itself. Kristy’s upset that Dawn still has her dad in her life, and that Buddy’s father is in his. Her own father hasn’t contacted his kids in a year and a half. Kristy never lets her feelings about that show, but after Buddy’s disappearance and safe return, she can’t keep it inside anymore. Dawn reminds her that she still has lots of other people in her life who love her, including Dawn herself.

Instead of helping Natalie get her act together, Dawn lets go of the situation. Sharon even tells Natalie not to contact Dawn again until she’s in a better place. And the BSC girls aren’t worried about losing a client. They think Dawn’s mental health is more important than making money. Good for them!

The details:

  • Richard and Sharon are totally in love, and it’s adorable…until Sharon helps Mary Anne (and the BSC girls) redecorate her room. They take down a painting of Humpty Dumpty that’s always been on Mary Anne’s wall, and Richard decides there are too many changes happening. He blames Sharon and the two stop talking. I’m fully invested in this relationship and not at all happy about this development.
  • Instead of just trying to prove herself to Kristy, who questions Dawn’s sitting experience, Dawn sucks up by asking for her guidance. It’s brilliant. It makes Dawn look like she wants to learn, and it makes Kristy feel like she’s imparting wisdom, something she loves to do.

The differences/changes:

  • It’s confirmed – Jeff doesn’t exist.
  • Clearly they changed the order here, since “Kristy’s Big Day” was supposed to be next. It gets pushed to the eighth episode.

December 27, 2012

BSC Mystery #31, Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret: The Secret Is That There Is No Mystery

Posted in books tagged , , , at 12:43 pm by Jenn

A curse would have been a lot more fun

A curse would have been a lot more fun

Summary: Granny and Pop-Pop (Dawn’s grandparents) go on an anniversary cruise, and while they’re gone, their house floods. Sharon and Mary Anne head up the clean-up effort, with some help from the other BSC girls. Mary Anne finds a music box that plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and contains a picture of a sailor. The box is also wrapped in paper that warns of a curse. No one in the family claims to know anything about it, so Mary Anne thinks it belonged to Lydia, a girl who used to live in the house. But there are initials inside saying the box is from H.I.W. to L.S., and the BSC girls can’t find anyone with those initials.

Mary Anne finds some letters Granny wrote to her cousin about Lydia, who was in love with a boy named Johnny, who her father hated. She thinks Johnny gave Lydia the music box. Granny lived next door and would write about how Lydia would sneak out to see Johnny. There’s also something about Lydia’s father possibly embezzling from the bank where he worked, and maybe burying the money in the yard. One of the plumbers working on the house grew up in the neighborhood, and the girls see him looking around suspiciously, so they think he’s looking for the money.

The girls basically set up a sting, pretending they found something in the yard, then waiting for someone to make a move to find out what it was. They’re surprised to learn that an older man who’s been hanging around is the plumber’s father, and he does indeed want the buried money. Except there’s no money, just papers. Womp womp.

Mary Anne keeps trying to find out what’s going on with the music box, especially after she starts having dreams about the sailor. She realizes that H.I.W. stands for “how I wonder” and L.S. is “little star,” from “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Then Mary Anne borrows a bracelet from Sharon and realizes it was in the picture with the sailor, having almost been cropped out. Sharon tells her the bracelet belonged to Granny. Mary Anne puts things together and figures out that the music box was Granny’s after all. When Granny comes home, she confirms that she was L.S., and H.I.W. was her first love, the sailor, who died in the war. There’s no curse, there’s no money, and really, there’s no big mystery. Just a boring book.

The B-plot is even more boring. The Barrett/DeWitt family is finishing building an addition to their house. Everything comes out great. Thrilling, yes?

Thoughts: You know what’s really fun to read about? Construction.

I like that Dawn’s grandparents treat Mary Anne like she’s their own granddaughter. I wish we’d heard more about their relationship before this book, though.

Stacey uses the word “bodacious,” and not ironically. Shut up, Stacey.

August 13, 2012

BSC #105, Stacey the Math Whiz: Murder By Numbers

Posted in books tagged , , at 9:01 pm by Jenn

My worst nightmare

Summary: Stacey joins the Mathletes, because math is cool, you guys! It’s not dorky at all! She’s awesome at it, becoming one of the highest scorers in the state. Her father loses his job and starts visiting her a lot, which she enjoys but which annoys her mom. He’s very Disneyland Dad, as Dawn would say. Between his activities and the Mathletes, Stacey’s schedule is pretty full.

Inevitably, the two worlds collide: Mr. McGill wants to take Stacey to a concert the same night as one of the state championships. Instead of just explaining the situation, she decides family is more important than the competition and agrees to go to the concert. Then she changes her mind and decides being there for the team is more important. Of course, her father agrees and supports the decision.

The night of the first of the three state championships, the Stoneybrook team wins, and a bunch of people decide to go out to celebrate. Stacey goes off with her parents, learning that her father has a new job, and winds up not making it to meet with her friends. Then she thinks they’re all mad at her for ditching them. She’s really just projecting because she’s mad at her father for not being able to make the second meet. She’s also mad when it looks like he won’t make it to the third meet. But he does, and they win, and everyone’s happy, yay.

The B-plots involve Claudia tutoring Lindsey DeWitt in math (no, seriously) and some math fair at the elementary school, but seriously, an entire book about math makes me itchy, so I don’t want to go into it.

Thoughts: I know this book is supposed to show that math is cool, but I will never, ever fall for that.

Here’s an idea for the Barrett/DeWitts: Hire a real tutor for Lindsey, not a babysitter.

It’s ironic that Mrs. McGill complains about Mr. McGill’s spending when one of the things they used to fight about was her spending.

There don’t appear to be any parents at the elementary school’s fair, so…way to support your kids, adults of Stoneybrook.

The final question of the final state-championship meet is the same brain teaser Lisa couldn’t solve on The Simpsons.

August 15, 2011

BSC #84, Dawn and the School Spirit War: Smells Like Teen Spirit

Posted in books tagged , , , at 10:50 pm by Jenn

I bet those socks are made from hemp

Summary: It’s School Spirit Month at SMS, which means lots of theme days, like Pajama Day and Clean Up Your School Day. The month is supposed to drum up support for the undefeated baseball team. At most schools, students would have fun with this, other would roll their eyes and decline to participate, and no one would really care much either way. But since Dawn is involved, School Spirit Month has to become A Thing.

It starts when Mary Anne admits that she doesn’t want to participate. She really, really doesn’t want to wear her pajamas to school. Instead of telling her to either suck up and do it or shut up and not do it, Dawn lets her keep whining. On the day when the students are supposed to wear yellow, Dawn forgets, only putting on yellow socks at the last minute. A local reporter comes to the school to cover the event (uh, as if) and makes Dawn look foolish.

Mary Anne realizes that she’ll have to wear pajamas on Pajama Day or risk being a social pariah, or some nonsense like that. Instead of, again, either sucking it up and going along or shutting up and not participating, Dawn and Mary Anne decide to circulate a petition to get Spirit Month canceled. This turns the event into an all-out war that divides the school, as well as the club. (Kristy, Claudia, and Jessi are pro-Spirit Month; Dawn, Mary Anne, and Mallory are anti-. Stacey’s not in the club but is anti- as well.)

Things get out of control, with lockers getting glued shut, parents screaming at each other at meetings about Spirit Month, and Dawn getting phone calls telling her to go back to California. (All in due time, my dears. All in due time.) The school decides to cancel Spirit Month, which is probably a good idea if the students aren’t mature enough to handle it without attacking each other. Dawn, however, has realized that things have gotten way out of control. She decides that she didn’t want to get the event canceled after all, so she and Mary Anne write up a proposal to get it reinstated, with the stipulation that participation be voluntary. Which…it…was in the first place. Shut up, Dawn.

In the B-plot, the Barretts and DeWitts are having trouble surviving in their crowded house. They decide to put an addition on the house to make more room, but the kids just want two big rooms to share. Yeah, that’s realistic.

Thoughts: I love how Dawn is all, “We have to stand up for what we believe in!” but when she actually gets Spirit Month canceled, she’s all, “Uh, just kidding.” I mean, I get her and Mary Anne wanting to stand up for their beliefs, but they’re really overreacting here. Save the protests for something political, not yellow socks. They act like they’re the Rosa Parks of SMS.

Shawna Riverson also forgets to wear yellow on Color Day. Probably because the girl has brain damage.

The girls get 300 signatures on their anti-Spirit Month petition. How big is SMS? Are we really supposed to think that’s half the school? Because that means SMS has 600 students, and I just don’t think there are that many people in Stoneybrook.

Someone calls Sharon an unfit mother because she supports Dawn and Mary Anne, and I’m kind of surprise Sharon doesn’t take her out. Sharon strikes me as the sort of person who would cut you if you looked at one of her children funny.

June 27, 2011

BSC Super Special #12, Here Come the Bridesmaids!: “I Do” Times Two

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , at 10:34 pm by Jenn

I didn't know 13-year-old girls could marry each other in California

Summary: Dawn’s dad is getting married, so Mary Anne, Claudia, and Kristy fly out to California to help with the wedding. Well, Claudia helps with the wedding. Kristy basically does nothing the entire book. Back in Stoneybrook, Mrs. Barrett is getting married, Stacey’s a bridesmaid, and Mallory and Shannon are hired to watch the kids at the wedding. Hijinks ensue.

  • Dawn thinks Mary Anne‘s going to be her fellow bridesmaid in the wedding, despite the fact that she never asked her dad or Carol about it. She buys her a dress and everything. When Mary Anne finds out that Dawn assumed she would be in the wedding, they get in a fight, but it doesn’t last long, like most of their lame fights. Dawn’s also adjusting to having Carol around all the time, and there’s some brief stuff about her having to make sure her grades are good before she goes back to Connecticut.
  • Mallory and Ben Hobart make tentative plans to take a bunch of kids Christmas caroling (oh, yeah, the book takes place right around Christmas), but she has to cancel them, and they get into an equally lame fight. Then they make up. Yeah, like you really care about Mallory. She also does a disastrous job looking after four of the Barrett/DeWitt kids at the wedding, which is pretty much what you would expect if you put a pre-teen in charge of four rowdy kids.
  • Jessi is enlisted to play Santa at the mall. Yes, Jessi. Apparently no one cares that she’s a) 11, b) a girl, and c) not white.
  • Claudia helps out a bunch with the wedding, taking photographs and styling hair and being dumb about flowers.
  • Kristy hijacks the We ♥ Kids Club’s goodbye party for Dawn, because we all know how flakey and unstructured they are, and how awesome and organized Kristy is. She should have stayed in Stoneybrook. Not only would she have had the kids in line at the wedding, she would have arranged a big project for them involving homemade wedding presents.
  • Shannon is also in this book.
  • Jeff worries that Mr. Schafer’s housekeeper, Mrs. Bruen, will be fired after Carol moves in, I guess because women are always so good at cooking and cleaning and all that stuff. But then he learns that Mrs. Bruen is actually going to be working more hours. Whatever, Mrs. Bruen, get in the kitchen and make Jeff a sandwich.
  • Suzi Barrett is worried that Santa won’t be able to find her house, since the families are moving. Inspired by two stories she heard in school – Hansel and Gretel and Theseus in the Labyrinth – she leaves a trail of cookie crumbs from the old house to the new one, which is both adorable and brilliant.

This also marks the end of Dawn’s six months (or whatever) in California and her return to Stoneybrook, which means we’ll barely hear about Shannon from here on out. Fortunately, we won’t be saddled with Dawn for too much longer.

Thoughts: The Vista Hills Mall has a health-food snack bar called Health’s Angels. Har har.

Why does Dawn have to pay for her bridesmaid’s dress?

Mallory once gave Claire a hole-puncher for Christmas. First of all, you suck, Mallory. Second of all, what’s a kid that age going to do with a hole-puncher, other than make a big mess?

They could have solved the whole Suzi problem by telling her Santa would find them through magic. Kids accept magic as a valid answer to any question. I guess Suzi’s smarter than everyone else in this book.

Why in the world would you arrange for movers to come the same night you get married? I guess the ghostwriter couldn’t have Carol move in with the Schafers before the wedding. That would be WRONG.

And why would you expect your future stepmother to ask her fiancé’s ex-wife’s stepdaughter to be her bridesmaid? Especially when they’ve only met once before? Also, why does Mary Anne think she deserves to be a bridesmaid when she hears she isn’t going to be one? These people mean nothing to her!

Trivia: Jessi’s dad is six-two.

The Schafers only serve health food while Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne are visiting, but then serve duck at the wedding. So not only are they rude, they’re also hypocrites.

Logan, why are you in this book?

Dawn: “I even loved every morsel of that cake, despite the fact that it was made with way too much refined sugar.” That cake had your face on it and was made by an 8-YEAR-OLD, you UNGRATEFUL WITCH. Urge to kill, rising….

“Franklin wears red pajamas every single night.” Uh…how do you know that, Suzi?

I would laugh more at Mallory, but I have my own horrible-sitting-job-at-a-wedding-story. Well, it’s actually a horrible-sitting-job-at-a-wedding-reception story. When I was in high school, my best friend and I were hired to watch four kids at a reception in D.C. (about ten miles from our hometown). There were two brother/sister pairs, all between the ages of four and eight. We didn’t know these kids or their families (they were out-of-town guests), and the kids barely knew each other. (I think they were distant cousins.)

We were put in a room with the kids, a TV, some videos, and some toys. The kids weren’t happy to be away from their parents, and they especially weren’t happy to be stuck in a room with two teenaged girls they didn’t know when there was a big party right down the hall. A big party with cake. So the kids kept trying to escape the room, every five minutes for about three hours. They wouldn’t listen to me or my friend, they kept whining and complaining, and they were rude to us and each other. The fact that the food brought to us wasn’t great didn’t help.

Finally, the reception was winding down, so one of the fathers came to relieve me and my friend and pay us. He was totally drunk (I remember him standing partway down the hall, just staring at me, looking like he would fall over if he took a step), and he handed me a couple of 20s, telling me it was for both me and my friend. Two sitters + four demons kids + three or so hours + horrible accommodations = $20 each, which works out to about $7 an hour. I can’t remember how much I usually made for babysitting back then (this would have been 1999), but it was probably closer to $10 an hour.

But wait, it gets better. He added that that had to cover our cab fare back home, because no one had arranged a ride for us. Cab fare from D.C. back home would have eaten up half our fee, at least. Fortunately, someone heard about the payment and gave us some extra money. We also got a ride back home from a couple of women (who hadn’t been drinking) going the same way. I believe that was when I told my friend that if she ever needed someone to babysit with her again, she should NOT call me.

June 3, 2011

BSC Mystery #17, Dawn and the Halloween Mystery: How Dawn Saved Halloween

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 11:25 pm by Jenn

I used the British cover because it is HILARIOUS

Summary: Halloween is coming, so everyone’s getting costumes and decorations. Out with Carol one day, Dawn hears a scream and sees someone in a clown mask running out of a convenience store. Someone yells that the clown robbed the store, but no one’s able to stop the criminal. Dawn is able to provide some details to the police: The getaway car was a black Chevy, the robber was wearing shoes called Fly Highs, and the car had a bumper sticker from a hot dog place. The adults in the area decide it’s not safe for kids to be out at night, so they cancel trick-or-treating.

Dawn and her friends (but mostly Sunny) decide to take matters into their own hands and find the robber so they can save Halloween. (They also plan a party for the kids, and there’s way too much time spent talking about it.) They first look for places where the mask can be bought and learn that only one store in the area sells it. Then they go looking for the people who bought it. Those people don’t strike Dawn as suspicious, since only mean people commit crimes, so they move on. They also stake out the hot dog place, but they only succeed at raising the suspicions of a woman who works there.

While all this has been going on, Dawn has been sitting for the DeWitt boys (the ones who bugged Kristy in California Girls!) a lot, as well as their new neighbor, a boy named Timmy. Timmy lives with a single father who works a lot, and Mrs. DeWitt has agreed to look after Timmy. One day Dawn notices footprints in Timmy’s yard that match the ones left by Sky Highs, then sees the getaway car in the garage. She tells Mrs. DeWitt, who calls the police, who arrest Timmy’s father. Halloween’s back on, and the kids get to go trick-or-treating.

But! While Dawn’s taking some kids around the neighborhood, she sees someone digging in Timmy’s yard. The person’s wearing dark clothes and a clown mask. When she goes to Mrs. DeWitt to tell her there’s something strange going on, Mrs. DeWitt reveals that Timmy’s dad had an alibi for the robbery and has been released. The police come back and arrest the person in the yard…who turns out to be Timmy’s mother, and the woman from the hot dog place. She was digging up the money from the robbery. So Timmy’s mom is a criminal, but at least his dad is a good guy.

Back in Stoneybrook, the Barretts and DeWitts (no relation) are looking for a house that will hold two adults and seven kids. Franklin and Mrs. Barrett find one outside of Stoneybrook, and at first the kids act like they’re fine with moving, but then admit that they don’t want to leave Stoneybrook. The parents agree to try to find a house in town, but the only houses that will hold their family are out of their price range. The kids find them a great house that’s seemingly too small, and agree to share rooms so they can live there.

Thoughts: Even though this book and Mary Anne Breaks the Rules take place at the same time, neither book mentions the events of the other. So…that’s weird.

This book has an actual twist ending! And one I didn’t remember. I was all ready to complain about how Timmy’s dad was obviously the robber. Nicely done, ghostwriter.

Dawn, re: Jeff and junk food: “I don’t mind if he eats it once in a while. That’s his business.” But Dawn, I thought everything was your business.

Hey, guess when you don’t want to read about a robber who dresses like a clown? When you’re also reading It.

Trivia: Richard drives a red Chevy Cavalier.

If Mrs. Barrett and Franklin keep hiring sitters for their family outings, they’re never going to learn how to take care of their kids on their own.

Jessi calls the decorating scheme of Buddy’s room “early American Ninja Turtle.” Hee.

Dawon doesn’t tell the police about the distinct tag on the robber’s mask, which leads her to the store where it was sold. Guess what, Dawn? That’s obstruction of justice. Good job with the aiding and abetting, We ♥ Kids Club.

Owning a store that only sells Halloween items and is only open in October seems like a poor business model.

May 3, 2011

BSC #77, Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever: In Which Dawn is a Little Bit Awesome

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 11:33 pm by Jenn

That doll with the really long legs is FREAKING ME OUT

Summary: Dawn takes a job sitting for a girl named Whitney, who’s 12 and has Down syndrome. It’s not a typical sitting job, since Whitney’s almost a teenager and feels like she’s fairly grown-up, so her parents and Dawn pretend Dawn is just coming over to hang out with Whitney every afternoon. Dawn is actually really good with Whitney, though she finds it tough to be in charge without actually acting like she’s in charge. She also finds it difficult to deal with how other people look at and treat Whitney.

Everything is fine with Dawn and Whitney’s friendship until Dawn accidentally lets it slip that she’s been hired to spend time with Whitney. Whitney is furious and refuses to talk to Dawn. One day Dawn’s sitting for a couple of girls who disappear. She finds them at a fair and learns that Whitney told them she was babysitting and took them there. Even though she kinda, sorta broke the law, Whitney was good with the girls and shows that she’s fairly mature. Dawn and the We ♥ Kids Club make Whitney an honorary member and tell her she can help out with special sitting jobs, which I guess means things like group activities.

Back in Stoneybrook, Mrs. Barrett and Mr. DeWitt get engaged, which their kids aren’t happy about. Then they all go house-hunting (with babysitters tagging along, of course, because parents in Stoneybrook don’t know how to parent without the BSC) and the kids suddenly work things out. I don’t know.

In the other B-plot, Dawn’s father is dating a lot of women and for some reason keeps taking Dawn and Jeff along on what he calls “family dates.” I guess it’s to make sure whoever he’s with gets along with his kids. He dates a long string of losers, including one who meets Whitney and acts like she has the plague. Another is the mother of a snobby girl from Dawn’s school, and she brings the daughter, Alana, along on the date. Dawn and Alana taunt each other the entire time, acting less mature than Whitney.

Dawn and Jeff realize they really miss Carol (who was unceremoniously dumped in Dawn and the We ♥ Kids Club), and this is driven home when Carol comes across the scene at the fair and treats Whitney like a normal person. Dawn mentions to her father that she saw Carol, and they start dating again. Then all of a sudden, they’re engaged. That seems awfully fast, especially when they didn’t work out their issues from previous books, but I guess we’re supposed to find it romantic.

Thoughts: Dawn, do a TV commercial for California and move on to another subject already.

Dawn’s father is also named Richard? What’s up with Sharon and guys named Richard?

Isn’t eight a little old for a flower girl?

“Alana. That was an unusual name.” Says the girl whose best friend’s name is Sunshine Daydream.

Wait, Alana calls Dawn’s father Jack. Is his name Richard or Jack? Why is this so hard, ghostwriter??

I can’t believe the writer didn’t have Kristy and Shannon mastermind some reconciliation for the Barrett and DeWitt kids during the house-hunting expedition. The plot just…ends.

February 25, 2011

BSC #71, Claudia and the Perfect Boy: Just Like “Emma,” If Emma Had Bizarre Fashion Sense

Posted in books tagged , , at 10:49 pm by Jenn

Yes, it's totally normal for a 13-year-old to dress like this

Summary: Claudia starts writing personal ads for the school paper, partly because she wants a boyfriend. (Stacey helps her, so the spelling errors are minimal.) The personals are wildly popular, and Claudia responds to some of the ads, looking for her perfect guy. It doesn’t go so well – one guy has no personality, one guy is obsessed with Japanese culture and won’t shut up about it, and one guy is Alan Gray. Still, other people are happy, and Claudia even helps a boy who’s upset about his parents’ divorce and is looking for someone to talk to. (She gives him the name of a therapist Mary Anne saw.)

Claudia notices that some of the people writing ads would be perfect for each other, so she writes some suggestions and comes up with some great pairings. Unfortunately, her love life is still nonexistent. She places her own ad and gets a response from a guy who seems perfect – but then finds out it’s actually from Stacey, who wanted to cheer her up. Stacey helps Claudia realize that she doesn’t have to search for a guy, and if there’s one out there for her, she’ll find him. It’s sweet and all, but, uh, she’s 13. It’s not like she’s 30 (see below).

In the B-plot, the Barretts learn that Marnie is allergic to their dog, Pow, which means they have to get rid of him. Buddy and Suzi are furious with Marnie, blaming her for her own allergy, and upset over the idea of giving their dog away. Fortunately, after Mrs. Pike sees how great her kids are with Pow, and how well-behaved he is, she lets her kids adopt him.

Thoughts: Claudia thinks Mrs. Barrett is old because she’s “at LEAST thirty.” Claud, can you even count to 30?

Stacey introduces Claudia to her perfect match: spellchecker.

When and why did Mary Anne see a therapist? Did I miss something?

There’s no way the Rosebud Café is “one of the coolest places in Stoneybrook.” I mean, Logan works there.

If Rock was as into Japanese culture as he says he is, he’d know that tai chi and the concept of yin and yang are Chinese, not Japanese, Go write some anime fanfic, you poser.

Rock has a tattoo of a skull, roses, and worms. Maybe Claudia should give HIM the name of Mary Anne’s therapist.

“I’ve been told that I look like Jason Priestly.” That’s…a selling point?

January 30, 2011

BSC #68, Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter: Dawn Leaving Was Supposed to Make Things Better

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 6:24 pm by Jenn

NO GUM AT MEETINGS! DI DI MAU!

Summary: With Dawn back in California, suddenly things are really busy for the club (maybe the parents waited until she was gone to hire sitters so they wouldn’t have to deal with her)? Kristy doesn’t want to hire a new member, since they’ll have to get rid of her when Dawn comes back – for some reason she doesn’t want more than seven regular members – but business is so heavy that Shannon and Logan are even tapped out. Wendy, a friend of Jessi’s from school, is interested in joining the club and is really good with kids, so Kristy agrees to let her come to meetings.

Wendy proves to be an unfortunate choice as a new member – she misses meetings, she’s late to jobs, and she just doesn’t seem to care. Basically, the club isn’t any better off with her than they were without her. Kristy’s fed up because Wendy won’t listen, but Wendy’s more fed up with the club trying to dictate her life, so she quits club. Fortunately, even though we’re probably supposed to think Wendy is a horrible person, Jessi decides she’s still a friend, she’s just a loner. Uh, more like she just didn’t want to drink the Kool-Aid and give her life over to the BSC. Anyway, Shannon suddenly has free time and agrees to be the alternate officer (ooh, what an honor!) until Dawn comes back.

In the B plot, Mallory’s really, really tired, which makes everyone mad because she keeps turning down jobs and falling asleep at random times. Her doctor says she’s pretty much fine, which makes me wonder where that doctor went to medical school, because being really tired and sleeping all the time is NOT FINE. Whatever, it’s just a set-up for book #69.

In the C plot, the Barrett and Pike kids decide to make a video for Dawn. They gather up some other BSC charges and put on a performance that’s a twist on Snow White, involving pollution and Captain Planet. It’s actually really cute and funny. Across the country, Dawn has a similar idea and makes her own video for the BSC girls.

In the D plot, Margo becomes a little klepto. Jessi busts her and tells her to tell her parents, but she doesn’t, so Jessi tells Mallory. Mallory makes Margo confess, which leads to her returning what she stole. The motives here aren’t really discussed, and I don’t think the shoplifting is ever brought up again, so it’s pretty pointless.

Thoughts: Jessi makes hot chocolate by microwaving chocolate milk. Wow, lazy.

Kristy tells a client she can’t talk to her until the BSC meeting starts. And that’s how you lose customers.

Kristy not wanting an eighth member of the club makes absolutely no sense. Maybe she thinks seven people are too many to control and they might band together and overthrow her.

Claire, re: Mallory: “She fell asleep while she was reading me The Three Bears. I don’t blame her. I think it’s a very boring story, too.” Hee.

Vanessa gets curlers tangled in her hair, and Jessi has to cut them out. If I came home and found out my daughter’s friend had cut my child’s hair without permission, I think I’d have a problem with that.

January 16, 2011

BSC #66, Maid Mary Anne: Sew Boring

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 8:04 pm by Jenn

No way would Richard let Mary Anne wear shorts that short

Summary: Mary Anne wants to learn more about sewing, so she asks a woman named Mrs. Towne for lessons. Mrs. Towne is old and widowed, so when she falls and breaks her ankle, Mary Anne decides to help her out around the house. (For some reason, Mary Anne thinks she’s been selfish lately, and this is a way to make herself feel better.) Mary Anne’s help is supposed to be in exchange for lessons, but soon Mrs. Towne is calling her to help out with all sorts of things. Mary Anne decides it would be selfish to not help, or even to delay help, so she keeps dropping everything to rush to the rescue. Somehow, Kristy doesn’t excommunicate her for skipping out on a BSC meeting.

Mrs. Towne is obviously just lonely, but she’s also passive-aggressive, and since Mary Anne is a sucker for someone who needs help, this continues for a while until Mary Anne finally realizes that, you know, she can say no. (Mary Anne is going to be soooooo screwed up in high school.) She finally uses her big-girl voice and tells Mrs. Towne to knock it off already. Fortunately, Mrs. Towne doesn’t pull any manipulative crap, because people in Stoneybrook always realize the error of their ways and resolve to be better people.

In the B plot, Mary Anne and Claudia start a sewing class for some kids. Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett are the only boys involved, until some punk kid at school starts making fun of them for doing girl stuff. They briefly declare war on girl stuff, only to get sucked right back into making a quilt.

In the C plot, Dawn is homesick for California and will NOT shut UP about it. But it’s okay because it’s all going to work out for us in the end. (Stay tuned.)

Thoughts: There is so much talk about sewing in this book, I can’t even tell you. It’s like a freaking instruction book/catalogue. I never want to hear about sewing again.

Can we stop hearing about the freaking goat already?

Mary Anne may be new to sewing, but she’s been shopping at a sewing store long enough to know who the owner is. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

“Logan, who is from the South, drinks iced tea all the time, and Dawn drinks hot herb tea in the winter, but I’d never really thought about it. &*#$(*%@# ghostwriter. Go read the early books. Mary Anne has tea with Mimi, you moron.

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